University of Dundee

NMR / Analytical Chemistry Team Leader

Drug Discovery Unit
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Grade 8 (£41,526 - £49,553)

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 40 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) ( is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment. The DDU is housed in a state-of-the-art building with cutting-edge equipment and automation for drug discovery. Its remit is to complement BioPharma activities by tackling early-stage small molecule drug discovery across a range of therapeutic areas. The DDU works to Biotech style philosophy and standards incorporating, dynamic, goal driven project management based on Target Product Profiles and Compound Selection Criteria.

We are recruiting for a highly motivated and experienced NMR spectroscopist/analytical chemist, to manage and develop our NMR and analytical chemistry facilities and team within the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU). This team works within the integrated drug discovery disciplines of the DDU, and across its drug discovery programmes.

The successful candidate will have NMR expertise and ideally additional experience in liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry.

Our current NMR use focuses on fragment screening and analysis of synthesised compounds. A key role of the team leader is to expand our capabilities, including NMR protein structural studies and solution conformational analysis to support compound optimisation.

Our three in-house NMR instruments are supplemented by access to the 800 MHz system at the National Centre in Edinburgh. Our wide range of LCMS instruments, mass-directed auto-preparative systems and semi-preparative HPLC is used for analysis and purification of compounds from our medicinal chemistry projects, including high throughput array chemistry.

The position, offers you an opportunity to grow your expertise and track record by having a key role in delivering drug candidates that address major global diseases, developing your collaboration building and management skills, and helping to drive innovation and best practice within the drug discovery approaches of a world-leading university-based drug discovery group.

The post is available immediately. Salary will depend on experience but will be in the range £41,526-£49,553.

Your primary responsibilities:

  • Work within interdisciplinary teams and actively contribute to drug discovery projects at all stages.
  • Develop the analytical chemistry capabilities within the DDU, bringing in new technologies where appropriate.
  • Lead the current analytical chemistry team (NMR and chromatography systems), including delivering a high quality facility, and managing and mentoring a small team.
  • Write reports, presentations and publications when required
  • Coordinate interactions with external partners

Knowledge, qualifications, skills and experience:


  • Candidates must be professionally qualified in a chemistry related subject and have subsequent substantial relevant experience in industry or academia.
  • Significant demonstrable experience in the theory and practice of NMR spectroscopy.
  • Experience in using NMR for fragment screening, protein structure elucidation and small molecule conformational analysis.
  • Experience in managing NMR and ideally also LCMS systems.
  • Experience in line management
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • Demonstrate initiative, with good time management, organisational and communication skills.
  • An ability to work flexibly and to meet project milestones


  • Experience in LCMS and liquid chromatography systems
  • Knowledge and experience of the drug discovery

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

The DDU is part of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR). The DDU has produced 4 clinical candidates since 2013. Over the last 3 years WCAIR has won multi-million pounds in grant income to support our activities and published over 85 papers, many in top ranking journals. There is a very interactive and open culture amongst WCAIR’s 170 scientists, with many collaborations between the its groups. There are also many opportunities for sharing and exchanging ideas such as weekly seminars, pizza lunches, 6-monthly symposia and an annual retreat.

WCAIR and the DDU are embedded in the School of Life Sciences, which has been consistently rated ‘5-star’ by the UK national Research Assessment Exercise. Dundee has twice been named ‘the best place to work in Europe’ in a poll of scientists conducted by The Scientist magazine. The DDU is housed in a state-of-the-art building with cutting-edge equipment and automation for drug discovery. You can go on a virtual visit of our labs here: and further details for School of Life Sciences facilities and support for staff

For further information about this position please contact Professor Ian Gilbert at To find out more about Group/Unit/Team/School please visit

The Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery Division and Drug Discovery Unit operate on an external funding basis. The Principal Investigators within these units are highly successful in securing external funding for their multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative research and activities.  

As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. The School of Life Sciences is proud to employ staff from over 40 different nations.  

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

The Closing Date is midnight on 19th June 2021

For further information or to apply for this position please click here